Would you like a lobotomy or would you prefer to be a consumer?

As I wrote in “Après Earth (Day). What does “colonizing” Mars have to do with Earth Day?” consumerism became a replacement for mental health services.

To explain this a little more, let’s go back to my grandmother’s time, after the Great Depression and the Second World War, mental health issues, women’s health issues, transgenderism/ alternate sexual proclivities, or anything not presenting as “normal” could get a person sent to the “loony-bin” where people would be subjected to lobotomies, electric shock therapy and other horrendous practices, led to people doing their best to hide behind a fake façade.

There wasn’t any other kind of help for any one struggling with mental health issues, so most people self-medicated with alcohol, drugs of choice (legal and prescribed) and/or became abusive towards others, plus other unhealthy ways of tuning out and numbing down.

After the Big War, ad men were hired to create campaigns to sell all the new goods and services that were suddenly abundant and available.

If you think about it, they were experts in psychology; they quickly figured out that many people were very unhappy and silently struggling, so they created jingles and ad lines that sold the idea of purchasing the goods and services as a way to feel better, to be happy!

This was FAR better than the threat of a lobotomy or electric shock therapy!

The struggling public quickly absorbed these mantras, internalized them and did their best to purchase as much as possible, for not only were they being patriotic in helping America to become economically strong again, the personal payoff of finding an external solution for their internal depression or angsts was an allure that couldn’t be ignored.

When people had bought all the goods that were being sold, their old frugal natures kicked in, so they were hanging onto their purchases for as long as possible, and sales started to drop off.

New ad lines needed to be thought up!

Enter the era of “NEW and IMPROVED!”, an idea that had paid off so well, we STILL feel the need to buy the newest phone each year, upgrade our cars frequently, buy a new wardrobe every season etc.

Our grandparents (or great grandparents for some) were the first ones to buy into the idea of becoming avid consumers of goods and services to make ourselves feel better, and we haven’t slowed down since then, in fact we are far better consumers than they could have dreamed of being!

If we didn’t feel good when we bought all kinds of stuff? Well, the answer was to just buy more, maybe different stuff!

It has become too normalized, that if someone doesn’t do it, they are accused of being behind the times, or looking poor!

Even now, when we have less and less stigma about getting therapy for mental health issues, we still externalize our healing. Even now we seek external validation for who we are, via what we own, wear and consume.

All of this is terrible for the planet, as we have bought into the single-use, convenience culture, and where copious consumption and waste are totally normalized.

Look at parties and the junk we buy to decorate, use and throw away the same day!

Our consumer culture is the bane of the environment, and it isn’t likely to get better any time soon, it is likely to increase.

The Race for Space is going to soon open up commercial space travel; space tourism will happen sooner than we think, as will the race to set up mining colonies on Mars to harvest minerals needed here for our consumerism.

It’s going to happen at a fast pace and soon become the new normal, the way smart phones became a “necessity” within 2 years of being introduced!

My daughter shared this video with me, and I’d like to make a prediction that the next high point we will experience will be focused on commercial space travel, space tourism, and AI becoming an integral part of our lives!


The only way to step off that mad roller-coaster is for each of us to take personal responsibility for our personal habits, to begin to work on our self-worth so we aren’t seeking outside validation, and to work on healing our past hurts so we aren’t self-medicating in consumerism!

This will become the meaning of being a radical… becoming someone who doesn’t buy into the now generational methods of feeling better about ourselves!

Quote and meme by @successpictures

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17 thoughts on “Would you like a lobotomy or would you prefer to be a consumer?

  1. Wonderful post, it really got me reflecting. I feel for people, the pain is real. People are confused, and so many have so little time to sit and reflect with the constant work cycle of life. I know I am guilty of buying for emotional reasons, or buying wastefully package products to save just a bit of time. 😔

    The inner soul of humanity remains though, and that gives me hope that at some point a lifestyle that speaks more to that inner soul will gain traction. I think respectful and loving actions towards the Earth will naturally follow. Hopefully that change will come before we’ve set the Earth on a path we may not be able to recover from.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping for this to happen too, that our inner humanity will prevail. Our inner angsts affect us and will continue to affect us for the foreseeable future.

      I’m not perfect myself with not buying plastic packaging or single use items for convenience, but I am doing my best to make better choices.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Since adolescence, I have chosen a path that was different from my family and peers. It was by no means easy to walk alone. My decision to lead a spiritual and non-materialistic lifestyle resulted in a disconnect when I reunited with my family here in the USA. They had bought into the consumer-driven lifestyle as the means for “being patriotic in helping America to become economically strong again [and] the personal payoff of finding an external solution for their internal depression or angsts.” As a nation, we have yet to realize that we are drowning in our wasteful consumption. As you rightly observe, going to Mars will not save us from ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, nothing will save ourselves from ourselves except the work we do on ourselves. Everything else will only heighten it, because we have become addicted to having new stuff, ne experiences and accumulating stuff! Kudos to you for having chosen a different path in life! I’m sure you have much to teach us!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. People have been brainwashed into it! It’s now a generational problem that will only change through individuals changing themselves. However, it will always be a minority of people who will change, and the majority won’t because the inner work on the root causes is very difficult. It’s so much easier to keep using the external sources to feel better.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yesm Tamara, you’re so right! And somehow people don’t seem to recognize that all the superficial things that they think will make them happy don’t… so they keep on buying more crap.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, the brainwashing has been very effective! We keep searching for the next thing that promises us happiness and it keeps eluding us because it doesn’t come from an external source.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Very true Rita, for hoarding is a symptom of mental health issues that have gone unaddressed. It comes down to our inner healing once more!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Take personal responsibility for our personal habits, to begin to work on our self-worth, so we aren’t seeking outside validation, and to work on healing our past hurts, so we aren’t self-medicating in consumerism!

    Strong lines TK

    Love it

    Thought-provoking share.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. These are to root truths, and as we know Devang, it is very difficult for many to do this inner work. All we can do is to encourage people to start the work!

      Liked by 1 person

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